Chios Island | Χιος, Ελλαδα
North Aegean, Greece
After the 2016 EU-Turkey Statement, Chios turned from a transient landing spot into a de facto detention centre. It has since consistently held around 2,000 refugees, 37% of whom are children.
On May 23rd 2016 the project’s first school opened its doors to around 25 children. Acting upon the great need, we soon extended our services and since November 2016 we have run schools and a youth centre, reaching up to 250 children and youth per week and over 2,800 participants since opening.
This project, formerly run by Be Aware and Share, comprises a Youth Centre and Learning Centre, offering safe spaces outside Vial Camp.
A safe space for community and relationship building
The Youth Centre offers a safe space for teenagers between the ages of 14 and 22. It seeks to create an environment and atmosphere that allows the teenagers to develop trusting relationships and confidence in their own abilities and skills.
The teenagers improve their conflict management, non-violent communication and group-based decision-making through social integration and skills-based activities. These include both daily (e.g. theme-based assemblies to discuss social topics, group cooking and games) and longer-term projects (e.g. woodcraft, drama, running club, arts, orienteering).
Participants in the Youth Centre contribute to a diverse community that extends beyond the building walls as they build new support networks for daily life.
Non-formal education for teenagers and youth
The Learning Centre, run in partnership with METAdrasi, helps students develop tools for learning and social and communication skills. We achieve this through a trauma-sensitive curriculum which also stimulates imagination and lets students explore their own interests, both old and new. We foster multi-cultural and diverse classroom communities and actively work towards social integration.
We provide a minimum of 3 days of school for each student aged between 15 and 18 years old. The curriculum consists of English, Greek, and a project lesson that includes creative, academic and vocational options. Over the past 2 years we have gained a deep understanding of the range of specific needs, interests and characters of our students: we embed this knowledge into every aspect of our programme and provide tailored approaches to every individual.